YEP Jury: Old failings of missed chances and soft defence prove so costly for Leeds United

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Swansea City.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 8:50 am
Leeds United's players show their frustration after Swansea City's winning goal.

DAVID WATKINS

A huge disappointment to lose the final game before the firstinternational break, and to lose it in the manner we did, in the 90th minute, is, well, really frustrating.

We knew it would be tight, none of the jurors thought there would be more than a single goal between the teams, yet none of us thought it would be Swansea with the advantage.

Helder Costa is hauled back by Swansea's Jay Fulton.

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It was down to familiar Leeds United traits that are already blighting us this season just as they did last season. We miss too many chances and, on the rare occasions we come under threat, we give away soft goals.

Twenty one times we went for goal and only three found the target! At the other end, Swansea had just seven attempts but got their goal from a moment’s hesitation from Leeds.

It is hard to resist the temptation to suggest we are missing a trick not including Costa and Nketiah in the starting XI and yet it’s hard to argue the point when results have generally gone so well.

It has to be tried at some point though, surely?

Marcelo Bielsa directs operations from the sidelines against Swansea.

Man of the match: Liam Cooper.

ANDY RHODES

Even though it’s inevitable that your team will lose a over the course of the season, the first defeat is always hard to take.

Leeds dominated the game from start to finish, but unusually, it didn’t seem to faze the Swans.

Pablo Hernanadez and Jack Harrison combine to get the better of Wayne Routledge.

Perhaps that was due to Leeds’ offering up the most alarming of stats. Despite registering 21 shots in the 90 minutes, just three were on target.

Swansea were also happy to let United have the ball, standing off the men in white and biding their time. In the end it was a masterclass from Steve Cooper in how to exploit a Marcelo Bielsa side.

The game will offer the Argentine food for thought as last season’s negatives show their ugly head once more, but if Leeds have learned anything under their head coach, it’s that nine times out of 10, the system works.

If they keep creating chances then the goals will come. This was a day purpose built for a number nine. Maybe it’s time for a 14 to have a go.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

MATTHEW EVANS

Swansea City executed a perfect smash and grab at Elland Road on Saturday to take one of the least deserved wins I’ve seen from an away side in many, many years.

United should have had this wrapped up quite comfortably in the first half and why we can’t take just one of the many chances we create is a mystery stretching back well into last season.

Leeds squandered numerous opportunities to go ahead and players from all areas of the field were culpable as Pablo Hernandez, Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison, Adam Forshaw and Stuart Dallas all conspired to miss decent chances.

I imagine most fans felt quite confident we’d get the breakthrough eventually but, as the game wore on, it became less and less likely and, just as we were coming to terms with dropping two points, Swansea struck to snatch all three.

We can’t afford too many days like this at Elland Road this season if we are to have a chance of automatic promotion.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds lost on Saturday, it won’t be the end of the world or the end of the season but it was disappointing. Football has a horrid habit of kicking you in the face when you least expect it.

Leeds had enough chances to win comfortably but didn’t take them and if that happens you are open to get a ‘sucker punch’ and it happened right at the end of the game.

Bielsa will probably analyse this game for much of the two week break and still wonder why another three points aren’t on the table.

Chances were there, Gjanni Alioski missing a very early opportunity that flew over the bar and into the South Stand and Patrick Bamford had at least two decent opportunities to get on the scoresheet, the failure to get ahead gave the visitors hope as they valiantly tried to keep Leeds at bay.

Leeds dominated both halves as they passed superbly but right at the end of the move, a pass that could have unlocked a resolute defence just wasn’t good enough.

Not for the first time United were trying too hard and it let them down. Even the introduction of Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah, who hit the side netting late in the game couldn’t get the goal the full house at Elland Road wanted.

The goal that won the game was on full time. Leeds failed to clear their lines from a corner and the ball bounced to Wayne Routledge who rolled the ball past Kiko Casilla into the corner of the net, Swansea celebrated like they had won the league.

Many will clamber for Costa and Nketiah to be included after the two-week break but Marcelo Bielsa will have to think where he puts these ‘match winners’ into a team that before Saturday was very impressive, he will not change a system that he believes in, that’s not the Bielsa way.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

MIKE GILL

I’m not just saying it because they lost but Swansea were unquestionably the best team that United have faced this season. Well organised in defence and fast to move the ball forward, they tested the Whites throughout the game.

You did feel that the Whites would break through as they played their usual game and took the action to the Swans.

As United continued to battle away, the Elland Road faithful seemed to sense that it wasn’t going to be one of those days where you didn’t go home happy.

But what the heck, a draw wouldn’t be too bad. Amidst the strange quiet at Elland Road, you could even hear a couple of stanzas of ‘Hymns and Arias’ before the Leeds crowd decided to make a bit of noise again.

It was all to no avail as veteran substitute Wayne Routledge spoiled the party on the 90th minute when he converted a corner.

An ungenerous four minutes of added time was awarded and that was it. An undeserved first defeat to take with us into the International break.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

SHAUN SMITH

Swansea City are top of the table but are not the best team in the league. Leeds United are. Another late goal stubbled into the home net to deny the Whites points but a bigger point was made on Saturday afternoon.

The Swans are good but Leeds have that little bit more. Had the first-half chances been put away we would be sitting pretty. Kiko Casilla had hardly a save to make but then again neither did the visiting number one. There will be games like this in even a promotion-winning season.

The old problem of converting chances will be raised but both teams defended admirably so clear cut opportunities were at a premium. A mis-kick won it but Leeds fans should not be too anxious over the international break.

Looking at the league, Saturday’s opposition are atypical. Leeds will beat most sides. Swansea will probably do likewise.

It is a marathon not a sprint, something that Leeds know very well indeed.

Man of the match: Liam Cooper.